What did you do before creating Panda Gin?
It’s important to go through other sectors to broaden your knowledge and experience. In the development of your business, you have to go through management, administration, marketing, R&D, communication, etc. We are four founders and we have all worked in catering, hospitality, marketing and the arts (photography, music). Between us we've experienced many roles, from being waiters and bartenders through to management.
What made you decide to create Panda Gin?
From our work in the hospitality industry we all became passionate about spirits. We noticed that there was a lack of organic spirits on the market, and also that lychees are a greatly underused fruit in spirits. We decided to create a gin as it goes so well with lychee and as while gin distillation is complex it is also versatile and relatively fast.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
We work with Radermacher Distillery - one of the oldest distilleries in Belgium, which dates back to 1836 and so they have a huge amount of experience and expertise. We use a 1,500 litre pot still with a rectifying column.
Can you visit the distillery for tours and tastings?
Visits are possible by reservation. We do a complete tour of the distillery, including the still, the production chain, the assembly, and the bottling, before finishing with a tasting of Panda Gin. We do the tour in English or French as requested and there is the possibility of buying bottles on site too.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
One of the biggest challenges was to design our product and market it when there are so many existing players in the gin market. Then, exporting was a challenge because it is not easy to develop in new markets. But we find so much much satisfaction in pleasing our customers and hearing their responses to Panda Gin.
How would you describe Panda Gin in 3 words?
Subtle, balanced and unique.
What's your favourite way to drink Panda Gin?
Personally, I drink Panda Gin in a wine glass and without ice. All the aromas are noticeable and it is a sweet gin. Otherwise I really enjoy it with a neutral premium tonic water.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Very good question :) We have several favourite gins depending on our mood.What's next for Panda Gin - any exciting plans?
We want to expand our range of premium 100% organic spirits. We are currently working on a rum.